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New Applied Ecology Department Head: Derek Aday

CALS applied ecology department head Derek Aday

The new head of the Department of Applied Ecology is Derek Aday.

In addition to his many roles at CALS, Aday has been serving as interim department head since early this year.

“Derek’s work as CALS’ assistant director of academic programs provides a wealth of administrative experience that will serve him and the Department of Applied Ecology well in his new role,” CALS Dean Richard Linton said. “He also has tremendous energy and an exciting vision for the future of the department, and I am confident he will lead the students, faculty and staff to new heights.”

Aday’s lab group works at the interface of basic and applied ecology, addressing issues related to conservation and management of freshwater and marine fishes, invasive species and the impact of aquatic contaminants on fish, wildlife and human health. He is also interested in service learning projects associated with development of clean water solutions in impoverished communities and has traveled with students to Belize and Uganda to consider these issues. Aday served as Park Faculty Scholar for the Class of 2016 and currently serves as chair of the Park Advisory Committee as well as editor of an international fisheries journal.

With a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Illinois, Aday’s time at NC State began in 2005, when he was hired as an assistant professor of biology. He was made associate professor of applied ecology in 2010 and named assistant dean/assistant director of CALS Academic Programs in 2013.

“The Department of Applied Ecology has outstanding faculty, staff and students and is poised to become a top-tier ecology program,” Aday said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of colleagues and look forward to growing our academic program, expanding the scope and reach of our scholarship, and connecting partners and the public to the work that we do.”